Fourteen Lines for His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

by Nyen

You are the water that settles the dust
You are the wind which travels everywhere in all seasons
You are the gentle leaves of a rosewood forest
You are the central channel always in peace
You are the oral lamp, tamer of ignorance
You are a singular and refreshing oasis
You are the composer of a thousand small lives
You are the messenger of all fleeting things such as dreams, illusions, bubbles and dewdrops
You are the wisdom eyes awakened from the inside
You banished the hard, indestructible things to Dewachen(བདེ་བ་ཅན)
You transferred these unwanted sufferings to that divine paradise
You are the chemist father who solves the hidden atoms
Standing in for the mountains, pastures, and sunlight
You are always here, always bright, always present

Note:
Jangtse Dhonko (Nyen) is a well-known Tibetan poet and former political prisoner. He was born in 1978 in Chongchuk county in Amdo, Tibet. He was a government official at the local history research center, until his arrest by the local police on June 21, 2010, who accused him of inciting separatism through his writings. Nyen is his pen name, under which, he published four poetry books,  “Red Heart”, “Revenant” in 2002 , “Dexterity” in 2007, and “Wild Born” in 2016.

This poem, fourteen lines for His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, was a tribute to the “Tibetan Poets’ Night” in 2016. Nyen asked me to translate it into English and later his friend recited it at that night’s gathering, with other Tibetan poets.

This poem is quite unique; I admire the poet’s fearlessness, reverence, and artistic expression for those who are prevented from expressing themselves in their arrested-imagined land.

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